Cuban Meat Pies

Jonathan, The Candid Appetite

Traditional puff pastry can be labor intensive and requires a lot of time to get it right. Normally, you have to flatten out cold butter into a rectangle and fold it into the dough itself. Enjoy a flaky puff pastry in half the time! By cutting-in the butter into this rough puff, as you would with biscuits or pie dough, and only “turning” the dough a total of 3 times, it cuts the labor and time in half. Turning is the process of rolling out the dough and folding it several times to distribute the butter. Use the dough for croissants, quiches or these delicious Cuban Meat Pies.
30 min Prep Time
45 min Cook Time
  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Cook Time: 45 min
  • Servings: 2 dozen biscuits

Servings: 2 dozen biscuits


  • Rough Puff Pastry:

  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ pound ground sirloin
  • ½ medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • ½ green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons raisins, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ¼ cup dry white wine (or chicken or beef stock)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 2 tablespoons pimiento green olives, chopped
  • 1 large egg, whisked with a splash of water
  • Topping:

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup water


Step 1

To make the rough pastry, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, wheat flour, salt, and sugar. Add the cold butter and cut in with a pastry blender or your hands until large coarse crumbs form. Mix together the water and vinegar in a glass measuring cup, and pour about ¾ of the mixture into the bowl and mix with a rubber spatula. Add enough of the remaining water as needed to bring it all together into shaggy dough. It shouldn’t be too wet. Wrap well in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour.

Step 2

On a floured work surface, roll out the chilled dough into a long rectangle and then fold into thirds like a letter. This is considered one “turn.” Rotate 90° and roll out again. Fold into thirds and repeat once more for a total of three turns. Cut the dough in half and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Step 3

To make the filling, place a large skillet over medium-high heat with the butter. Once melted, add the ground beef and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned. Stir in the onion, bell pepper and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the raisins and tomato paste and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the wine to deglaze and cook until the wine has almost completely evaporated. Season with oregano, salt, and pepper. Remove from the heat and stir in the capers and olives. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Step 4

Working with half of the dough at a time, place onto a well-floured work surface and roll out to about ¼-inch thick. Using a 2-inch round biscuit cutter cut out as many circles as possible, placing them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in the fridge while you roll out the second half of dough.

Step 5

Brush half of the pastry circles with egg wash and place about a tablespoon of filling in the center. Top with another pastry circle and press down the edges firmly to seal. You can also crimp with a fork. Once all are filled, place the baking sheets in the fridge or freezer to chill while you preheat the oven to 425°F.

Step 6

Poke a hole in the center of each pie with either a sharp pairing knife or a wooden skewer. Brush with egg wash and bake until golden brown and flaky, about 18 to 20 minutes.

Step 7

In the meantime, in a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring to a simmer. Cook until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Step 8

As soon as the meat pies come out of the oven, brush them with the simple syrup. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.